Sunday, March 10, 2019

Kolkata flyer refused boarding, gets compensation after 6-year fight

Kolkata: A flyer from Kolkata who was not allowed to board a Chennai-bound flight six years ago despite holding a valid ticket has been awarded a compensation of Rs 50,000 along with Rs 10,000 as litigation cost and refund of fare by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.

Pratyush Chakraborty, who was manager of Allahabad Bank (he has retired since), was set to travel on pilgrimage to Tirupati via Chennai when he was left stranded at Kolkata airport despite purchasing confirmed return tickets on IndiGo airlines flight 6E 271 and 6E 277 on November 24, 2012, nearly three weeks prior to the travel date. The payment of Rs 9,140 for the tickets was made with a State Bank of India international debit and shopping card.

However, Chakraborty, who lives in a condominium complex off EM Bypass, was not able to travel. A ground staff at the check-in counter refused him boarding pass because Chakraborty could not furnish a credit card. Though the bank executive tried to reason with her that he had purchased the tickets using a debit card, the airline staff refused to accept it and insisted that only a credit card would be valid.

“How could I produce a credit card when I had none? The cost of tickets had already been debited from my account on the very day tickets were bought. I requested the airline staff to allow me to undertake the trip. But the requests fell on deaf ear as she insisted I produce a non-existent credit card,” Chakraborty recounted.

Not only was he unable to travel, the airline also penalised him by deducting Rs 5,620 and withholding the remaining Rs 3,520 to be adjusted against travel within 12 months.

Incensed by what had happened, Chakraborty moved the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum in Kolkata on March 18, 2013, after failing to convince IndiGo officials that he wasn’t at fault, and hence, could not be penalised by the airline.
10/03/19 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India